Math classes stay virtual with a faster pace set in place

Mike Neville Sports Editor

Remote learning has had its own set of struggles put in place by COVID-19, and now math classes have been added to that list.  

For the spring 2021 semester, all of Southern’s math courses will be taught online, much to the online classes offered to students.  

“It’s very frustrating since I learn better in person and math is a very complex subject to begin with,” said Jose Romero, a junior.  

This is now the third semester that students have had to deal with online courses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.  

Professors of the math department have been all but sabbatical this semester with many teaching from home.  

“We were scrambling the moment the decision was made, I had students on their smart phones, no computer, no Wi-Fi and no access to campus which made it very difficult,” said math professor Ross Gingrich.  

With over thirty years of teaching at Southern, Gingrich said that this is unlike something the department has ever had to deal with before.  

The same goes for the students who would be in class under normal circumstances. 

“It is something that takes a lot of getting used to, you can always do a zoom or facetime meeting with your professor, but it is not the same,” said Andrew Seaton, a sophomore.  

Seaton said that he inspires to be a math teacher when he graduates and that online courses may make the process a lot harder.  

Math is already a fast-paced and complex subject that many struggle with so the pace of the course allows for a struggle in its own right.  

“Most of us are sensitive to the difficulties of online learning,” said Gingrich. “There are technical problems that are involved we take into account.” 

There is also a fear that students will not absorb as much knowledge as they would if the classes were in-person in the forms of tests and quizzes.  

“I know a lot of students are using this an opportunity to take an easy way out through certain apps to help them with the subjects,” said Romero.  

If students are using apps to assist them with problems and equations outside the classroom then the purpose of the class may be defeated.  

“There are people who will take the easy way out but at a cost,” said Seaton. “When things go back to normal, and we are back in a physical classroom some might be in for a rude awakening.”  

This raises the question of what to do in order to stop students from using apps and programs to assist them in online quizzes and tests. 

“How can you be sure students are doing their own work, how you can proctor tests, and this is one thing that appeals to online classes,” said Gingrich. “Cheating is not a victimless crime.”  

The future and its uncertainty with his students is something that Gingrich said concerns him the most each day.  

“A student could pass a class with flying colors but at a cost because when they are hired they will be less experienced in the job which will hurt them and other students in the long run,” said Gingrich. 

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